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carnivorous hippos



Vis-a-vis the omnivorous ceratopsian post a short while back, National Geographic Channel just ran a show entitled Cannibal Hippos. This was about an anthrax outbreak in an African National Park (can't remember which) in 2004 which killed only hippos but killed almost 400 of them. Turns out there are patches of ground that are naturally anthrax contaminated, but they are small and widespread. A particularly dry year resulted in some hippos taking in more soil than normal while feeding on land and getting anthrax. When they died, other hippos would feed on the intestines that hung out when decomposition breached the body wall. Hippos feeding on meat was only first reported in the mid 1990s (in that case killing and eating an antelope crossing a river at night) but the show also had footage of another incident where a hippo was feeding on another hippos carcass.

What next, omnivorous tryannosaurids?

Dan